Dan, Watch repair is very much like life, you have to learn to run
before you can walk. I qualified in 1988 from the Irish Swiss Institute
of Horology, there were 10 students in my year and the course was full
time and lasted for 3 years. Of the 10, 7 now own their own businesses
and 2 work for Rolex, 1 guy gave up straight away and went into
electronics and now works for Intel. We started by making our own
tools ( first 3 months ) and then we were let loose on clocks, it
wasn’t until the second year that we got near a watch. we started on
pocket watches and worked our way down to smaller movements, then to
automatics, day-dates,chronographs, etc. then we learned how to make
parts everything from screws to balance staffs and hairsprings. There
is a lot to learn and it takes time and patience to develop the "
My advice would be , to seek out a full time course, but don’t expect
to be given a Rolex to work on for quite a while.
Best of Luck in your quest